January 01, 2015 Introduction

Court Innovation

By Judge Michele D. Hotten and Justice Robert H. Edmunds Jr.

In keeping with our tradition of highlighting the initiatives of the president of the American Bar Association, we are proud to present our winter 2015 edition of The Judges’ Journal.

This issue includes some articles that focus on aspects of court innovation, which is an initiative of ABA President William Hubbard. One of the articles is from President Hubbard, who remarked at the beginning of his term that his priorities were “. . . guided by the fundamental mission to establish justice.” Recently, in calling for a reevaluation of the court system operations, President Hubbard observed, “[i]f we can take advantage of technology and develop innovative approaches to the delivery of legal services, we could significantly close the justice gap in our country and deliver services to our clients.”

We recognize that the tension between the demands to facilitate and administer justice, effectively manage an ever-increasing caseload, and the necessity for a vision that encompasses creative initiatives and stakeholders to address thase demands, is an ever-pressing challenge. If the judiciary is to continue to be perceived as committed to justice for all, it must embrace and develop innovative, practical solutions to adhere to its core function.

How can the judicial branch of government transition from its traditional role of providing a viable, accessible forum for resolving disputes and safeguarding important rights, to one that embraces innovation and technology to address the needs of the public it serves, while continuing to administer justice for all? This is a challenge the judiciary must face in the years to come. We hope that this issue provides food for thought.